By: Cody Bell
The Beginning of NASCAR
Greene, Andrew. "Our Favorite Moonshine Cars of All Time." AutoFoundry. AutoFoundry.com, 2013. Web. 01 Nov. 2013.
&Houston, Rick. "NASCAR's Earliest Days Forever Connected to Bootlegging." NASCAR's Earliest Days Forever Connected to Bootlegging. NASCAR, 01 Nov. 2012. Web. 01 Nov. 2013.
Typical Moonshiners car
In america in the prohibition suped up cars like this one could be seen tearing up dirt running from the law to deliver the hot goods.
Racecars of the 50's
during this time most people drove there everyday driver to the racetrack and raced. But made some minor modifications.
This picture is taken at the 1949 Nebraska state fair. This is some early race cars at there best
Typical Moonshiners car
Racecars of the 50's
How the Daytona 500 started
It started with a guy named Ransom E. Olds in the year 1903 when he was vacationing at Ormond Beach, Florida. He was admiring the hard packed and cool sand. He liked the hard compacted sand because it didn’t create a dust cloud and was relatively flat. Because the average road at the time was made for the horse drawn wagon at the time. He also liked the cool sand because the tires wouldn’t heat up and burst under pressure when the tires were hot. (Roe, 2)
On March 28, 1903 a match race between Olds and Alex Winton took place. It quickly became the talk of the town. (Roe,2) The race consisted of a 1 mile straight line track down the beach. At the pop of a gun Mr. Olds driver was the first off the line he got 50 yds ahead of Winton before he even got going. Olds car got up to speeds of up to 50 mph which was unheard of at the time. But at the end of the track Winton flashed by Olds just in time to win the race by 1/5 of a second. After news spread about this amazing race people flocked to Daytona to race there new automobiles. One of these was Henry Segrave a WWI major. His nickname was the Mad Major, he drove the car named the Golden Arrow. His car had two 500 hp V 12 airplane engines. His car crushed down the track at 203 mph. He became the first driver to break the 200mph mark. (Roe,3)
In 1935 a person by the name of Brit Sir Malcolm Campbell migrated to Daytona from Britain. He came with a car named Bluebird. This car was outfitted with a 2,500 hp Rolls Royce Aircraft engine he booked down the track at 330 mph. He became the first driver to break the 300 mph mark. (Roe, 4)
The OvalThe city of Daytona was determined to keep race fans so they constructed a half dirt half asphalt. The also constructed and other seating places along the side of the track so onlookers could view larger portions of the track. They held races there every Sunday after church. They invited anyone with a neck for speed and a factory stock car. NASCAR hall of famer Richard Petty remembers these days from his childhood about his dad also a hall of famer Lee Petty. “My dad and myself, my mom and brother, would get in the family car to go to the races,” he said. “On the way we would stop at a Texaco station to put the car on the rack. We changed the oil, Checked the tire pressures, took the mufflers off and hubcaps, and put a number on and all of a sudden it was a race car.” (Richard Petty). In the year 1957 they started construction on the Daytona International Speedway. This race track consisted of two, thirty one degree banked corners and a 3,000 ft long backstretch. The Stage was set for the Great American Race and countless photo finishes. (Roe, 5)
Pimm, Nancy Roe. The Daytona 500: The Thrill and Thunder of the Great American Race. Minneapolis, MN: Millbrook, 2011. Print.
Daytona Beach racing
Safety through the years
The first racecars consisted of maybe a seat and seat belt. Many early racers used their belts off their pants to hold themselves in their cars while racing. They didn't have roll bars as well, which is suppose to help keep the driver from getting trapped in case of an accident. One of NASCAR’s technical directors before his death in 2008 stated, “Every era can be defined by the safety improvements made during that period”. (Steve Peterson 14). In the 40’s, the crash helmet was mandated for race car drivers. (NASCAR.com). The design was called the Cornwall. They basically looked away like a hard hat attached over the ears and under the chin with a leather strap. NASCAR hall of famer Ned Jarrett say’s it better, “At the time, we felt like it was the state of the art helmet because it was all you could get” (Ned Jarrett). In the 50’s a standardized seat belt was mandated for all race car drivers. This is because when drivers got in a wreck they would get ejected from the car if not properly strapped in. (NASCAR.com) In the 60’s the roll cage was introduced to NASCAR. This was because in prior cases, a driver could get trapped in the car due to bent and misplaced metal not allowing the driver to escape. In most cases NASCAR track crews would have to cut the roof off the car. It would help keep the roof in it’s general shape allowing the driver to escape uninjured. If you car flipped the roof would cave in and close off the exit points on the vehicle and most of the time the car would catch fire because oil and fuel would ignite do to hot moving parts giving off spark. Also introduced to NASCAR in the 60’s was the fuel cell. This was because just about every wreck there would be fire because the fuel tank would get punctured and spill fuel all over the track. The fuel cell was made with a very hard plastic much like what cars today use. They also set it inside the car where it is not exposed to the bending metal outside the car and seal it up so sparks couldn't ignite the fuel inside.
Aumann, Mark. "Safety Improvements, Changes Define Racing Eras." Safety Improvements, Changes Define Racing Eras. NASCAR, 16 Feb. 2011. Web. 01 Nov. 2013.
This is why the put seat belts and roll cages
"Roush Fenway." Racing. Roush Fenway Racing, 3 May 2011. Web. 02 Nov. 2013.